Asian markets were set for a mixed opening on Friday, as a US stimulus deal remained out of reach and investors await fresh US employment data for a read on the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic.
US markets kicked off the fourth quarter closing higher on Thursday while the dollar sank, as investors tracked stimulus talk updates throughout the day.
The September employment report from the Labor Department looms large, following new layoff announcements from the likes of Disney and Goldman Sachs .
Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures were down 0.46 per cent in early trading, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures were down 0.09 per cent.
In the United States, an additional economic stimulus package remained elusive despite renewed efforts from Washington negotiators.
After a day of negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she did not expect an imminent agreement with the Trump administration. It remains unclear if policymakers can get something done before the November 3 election.
New data showed US consumer spending was still up in August, but its momentum was slowing as increased unemployment benefits began to dry up. If policymakers cannot agree on more support, the economic toll could worsen.
“The risk is that if disposable incomes continue to fall, the recovery in personal spending will slow or even reverse. The fiscal stimulus stalemate suggests additional government support payments to households are unlikely soon,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst Kim Mundy in a note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.13 per cent. The S&P 500 gained 0.53 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.42 per cent.
MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets rose 0.55 per cent.
Stimulus talks pushed the dollar to a more than one-week low against a basket of major currencies, with the Chinese yuan, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars all gaining against the greenback. The dollar index was down 0.1 per cent at 93.722 .
Gold rose after its worst month since November 2016 while oil prices continued to fall, adding to a 10 per cent September drop.
Spot gold prices rose 1.04 per cent to $US1,904.97 ($A2,650.13) an ounce. US gold futures settled up 1.1 per cent.
Oil prices fell more than 3 per cent as rising coronavirus cases around the world dampened the demand outlook, while a rise last month in member output from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also pressured prices.
Brent crude futures settled down $US1.37 ($A1.91) at $US40.93 ($A56.94) a barrel. US crude futures fell $US1.50 ($A2.09) to settle at $US38.72 ($A53.87) a barrel.
China’s stock and bond markets, foreign exchange and commodity futures markets are closed October 1-8 for the Golden Week holiday. South Korea and Hong Kong markets are also closed on Friday for holidays.